Blue Lagoon - Monday - 2/27/12

Monday (yesterday) was our last day in Iceland. We planned to do some walking around shopping downtown and then leave for the Blue Lagoon before heading to the airport. We thought the shops opened at 9 and a few did, but mostly they open at 10, which I guess makes sense when it doesn't get light out until 9am. We checked out, went to another little bakery for coffee and breakfast where I had one of the freshest croissants I have ever had. By the time we were done it was close enough to shop opening time. I suggested we split up to conserve time and we all got to do and go where we wanted. I went to a bookshop, a favorite pastime of mine in foreign places, well that and grocery stores. I always try to go in those two places wherever I am . Weird I know. This bookstore was lovely. I quite enjoyed it. I followed it up with a trip to an art shop, and another bookstore. Bookstores abroad are one of the best places to buy journals and pens, two things I am always looking for, but never really need.

We met back at the car and I drove to the Blue Lagoon. It is about 40 or so minutes from the center of town. You drive towards the airport and 15km before it you turn off and go 10km into the middle of nowhere among the mars rocks and moss that cover the area in between the mountains. Literally an earth laboratory. When you come around one of the bends you can see the steam, which is coming from some sort of industrial looking place  next door. Then you turn off onto the road and almost at the lagoon you start to see the blue water and salt. It is unlike any other color.

Let me say that of all the things we were doing on the trip, the blue lagoon was the one I was the least amped about. Which I guess just tells you how awesome everything else was. I was sort of the mindset that if we make it there great, and if not no big deal. Like I wanted to go, and thought it would be interesting, but it wasn't a main focus at all for me. So, it far exceeded my expectations because it was awesome. I really enjoyed it.

We got there just a few buses did, so we had to wait in line. The bus groups actually weren't even in line so it was kind of strange. It also wasn't the most efficient system, no easy flow of traffic. It made me think of what high season must be like. But after a bit we got in. There are a number of packages you can choose, but we just got the basic one. You could spend a whole day there if you wanted to, getting treatments, massages, drinking and eating and relaxing.

When you walk in the locker room, there is a monitor that tells you which lockers are open. It's a good idea to look at it, it helps direct you to the proper section. There were not many lockers open when we walked in, but I eventually found one. The give you this plastic electronic bracelet when you check in. You are supposed to wear it the whole time. It is how you lock your locker, get drinks, food and treatments. They scan it on your way out and that is how you pay for your extras. Pretty great system, unless I guess you loose it in the lagoon, but it stays on pretty well.

You take a shower before you head to the lagoon and come out into the freezing cold in your robe and suit. After finding a place to stash your robe, you run into the water because it is just frickin freezing for that 10 seconds you are standing there in your bathing suit in February. I  practically jumped in, haha. However it is pretty shallow around the edges, I was surprised. But as you move around it gets deeper, never too deep, but nice and comfortable so you can actually swim if you want to. All around there are these boxes with white stuff that is a silica mud mask. You put it on for like 5-10 min and then take it off. You can also swim up to the bar and get a beer and an alternate mud mask. Hilarious and awesome, I know. They just scan your bracelet and off you go with beer, smoothie, and mud mask in hand.

I floated around for a while exploring. There are many coves and little inlets where you can just hang out, and even a grotto type area. A waterfall pounds down to give you a massage right next to a sauna. There are mountains and volcanic rock with moss around outside. I realized while I was floating there, trying to stay mostly submerged because of the cold air, that I haven't been swimming in ages, like maybe two years or more. It is way to long for me to be out of water, I mean I'm a Pisces! It was so relaxing and the effort to float was non existent because of the salt. After I explored the whole place, I found a nice quiet uninhabited spot and just floated and looked at the sky and scenery. It was stellar. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

We stayed for about an hour, hour and half before it was time to start getting ready or the airport. You can easily spend much more time than that there, but two hours can also be enough. When you are ready to leave the lagoon, make sure you go to the viewing deck above the restaurant, it has panoramic views that are absolutely worth the extra ten minutes. Walk through the restaurant and up the stairs to the deck. It gives a view of the mountains, lava rock and the whole lagoon.

From the lagoon the ride to the airport is an easy 20 minutes down the road. We arrived with plenty of time to check in and get ready for the flight. We were all sad to go.